An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind

Millions of Americans believe that war doesn’t work, that war cannot end terrorism because war is terrorism, and that U.S. war-making is breeding a new generation of terrorists around the world. Millions also want the senseless killing to stop and they realize we must begin with ending our own military’s killing sprees. Americans want a new nonviolent response to the violence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. We don’t want to keep on inspiring millions of oppressed people to join ISIS or Al Qaeda. We want to stop the killing, make reparations, and start healing our world.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are the outcomes of far too many years of U.S. warfare in the Middle East. The American government has killed hundreds of thousands, militarized much of the Middle East, funded the Palestinian occupation, and used drones to kill innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere.

What is needed instead of continued military violence is a new global nonviolent response. The United States should immediately halt all its bombing raids and drone attacks and pursue ceasefires everywhere. We should start a massive reparations program to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and every land we have bombed, on a scale greater than the Marshall Plan. We should cut off all funding to ISIS from all quarters, and fund nonviolent peacemakers throughout the Middle East. Creative nonviolence should become our new foreign policy and the policy of every nation.

Of course, America is going to have to spend billions of dollars on nonviolent options. This money is available for war and should instead be made available for peace. To start paying for nonviolent solutions, we can close all our nuclear weapons plants, disarm our nuclear arsenal, and allocate those many billions of dollars to the many problems we face in the world. We have spent some seven trillion dollars on nuclear weapons since Hiroshima. It’s time we instead spent serious money on nonviolent conflict resolution instead.

We have definitive proof that active nonviolence works. Unlike war and violence, strategic nonviolence brings lasting, peaceful results. Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan’s groundbreaking book, Why Civil Resistance Works, proves through empirical data and strong scientific analysis that violence in response to violence only increases violence and that nonviolent conflict resolution can bring a more peaceful and just solutions.
“An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind,” Gandhi famously said. This sad truth is being played out every day now. We need to have the courage to stop the cycle of violence and use the methods of creative strategic nonviolence to end this madness and pursue a more nonviolent world. This is achievable, but it requires that everyone get involved in building a global grassroots movement of nonviolence. We need to stop the warmakers on all sides who are intent on furthering the cycle of violence and war.

“To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world,” Martin Luther King, Jr. said. “Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.”

“When evil men plot, good men [and women] must plan,” King continued. “When evil men burn and bomb, good men [and women] must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men [and women] must commit themselves to the glories of love. When evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, good men [and women] must seek to bring into being a real order of justice.”

I hope everyone will stop listening to the voices advocating violence and instead listen to the voices of nonviolence. Please join the grassroots movements of active nonviolence in pursuit of peace because the people of the world deserve so much more than violence and war has ever given us.

More articles by:

John Dear, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is an American Catholic priest nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is also a Christian pacifist, an author, and lecturer.

March 21, 2018
Paul Street
Time is Running Out: Who Will Protect Our Wrecked Democracy from the American Oligarchy?
Mel Goodman
The Great Myth of the So-Called “Adults in the Room”
Chris Floyd
Stumbling Blocks: Tim Kaine and the Bipartisan Abettors of Atrocity
Eric Draitser
The Political Repression of the Radical Left in Crimea
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Threatens Wider War Against the Kurds
John Steppling
It is Us
Thomas Knapp
Death Penalty for Drug Dealers? Be Careful What You Wish for, President Trump
Manuel García, Jr.
Why I Am Leftist (Vietnam War)
Isaac Christiansen
A Left Critique of Russiagate
Howard Gregory
The Unemployment Rate is an Inadequate Reporter of U.S. Economic Health
Ramzy Baroud
Who Wants to Kill Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah?
Roy Morrison
Trouble Ahead: The Trump Administration at Home and Abroad
Roger Hayden
Too Many Dead Grizzlies
George Wuerthner
The Lessons of the Battle to Save the Ancient Forests of French Pete
Binoy Kampmark
Fictional Free Trade and Permanent Protectionism: Donald Trump’s Economic Orthodoxy
Rivera Sun
Think Outside the Protest Box
March 20, 2018
Jonathan Cook
US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank
Jeffrey St. Clair
How They Sold the Iraq War
Chris Busby
Cancer, George Monbiot and Nuclear Weapons Test Fallout
Nick Alexandrov
Washington’s Invasion of Iraq at Fifteen
David Mattson
Wyoming Plans to Slaughter Grizzly Bears
Paul Edwards
My Lai and the Bad Apples Scam
Julian Vigo
The Privatization of Water and the Impoverishment of the Global South
Mir Alikhan
Trump and Pompeo on Three Issues: Paris, Iran and North Korea
Seiji Yamada
Preparing For Nuclear War is Useless
Gary Leupp
Brennan, Venality and Turpitude
Martha Rosenberg
Why There’s a Boycott of Ben & Jerry’s on World Water Day, March 22
John Pilger
Skripal Case: a Carefully-Constructed Drama?
March 19, 2018
Henry Heller
The Moment of Trump
John Davis
Pristine Buildings, Tarnished Architect
Uri Avnery
The Fake Enemy
Patrick Cockburn
The Fall of Afrin and the Next Phase of the Syrian War
Nick Pemberton
The Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nomi Prins 
Jared Kushner, RIP: a Political Obituary for the President’s Son-in-Law
Georgina Downs
The Double Standards and Hypocrisy of the UK Government Over the ‘Nerve Agent’ Spy Poisoning
Dean Baker
Trump and the Federal Reserve
Colin Todhunter
The Strategy of Tension Towards Russia and the Push to Nuclear War
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
US Empire on Decline
Ralph Nader
Ahoy America, Give Trump a Taste of His Own Medicine Starting on Trump Imitation Day
Robert Dodge
Eliminate Nuclear Weapons by Divesting from Them
Laura Finley
Shame on You, Katy Perry
Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography